Throughout my practice I am interested in creating a relationship between art and nature. I have been exploring a variety of methods to portray different ways that nature, place, landscape and environment can be integrated into art work. My Ideas stem from the work of John Piper and the Romantics who aimed to capture a sense of experiencing a place through a more expressive approach to painting. They didn’t simply paint a landscape, their work connected with it. Attempting to capture an essence of being in a natural surrounding, I incorporated natural objects physically into my work. I quickly realised that I was particularly interested in the connections and relationships that art and nature could have and wanted to explore these avenues and challenge the more traditional landscape approach.
In a world with a growing urban environment, advancing technologies and environmental issues contributing to the depletion of the natural terrain: I feel that art has an important role to play in connecting or reconnecting people with nature for our sake and Nature’s sake. Through My art I intend to expose the viewer to and connect them with nature. Inspired by Artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Richard Long and Stuart Cairns to name a few, I have produced a body of work that explores the interconnections that art and nature can have. I work with what Nature has to offer and the colour palette reflects that. Nature links my experimentation together and is embedded into my practice.
5 Key Points – Documentation
1. Chosen Artwork: Starting Point: Development of Ideas. I started this project inspired by the work of John Piper, particularly his piece “The Rocky Valley, North Wales”. After researching the artist, I discovered that he aimed to capture a sense of place within his work and integrate an experience of the landscape he was portraying. I started experimenting working with the theme’s of Landscape and Place, particularly a place that was close to me, The Brecon Beacons.
2. From a Connection to place to a Connection between Art and Nature: Experimenting with Ways of integrating Art and Nature. Experimentation Led me to realise that creating a sense of Landscape and place could be captured by including thing’s from the place in my work, this is where I began working with art and nature and investigating ways in which art and nature could be integrated.This is significant because this realisation influenced the rest of my project. It came to my attention that our world is becoming highly urbanized and distanced from nature. I thought about how including natural materials in my art could expose people to it and somewhat reconnect them with a natural environment. I set about exploring different ways I could incorporate nature into art whether that be through my use of materials, drawing with natural found objects or by collaborating with nature.
3. Mixing Natural Materials into Paint.
The idea of creating a connection between Art and Nature led me to mix acrylic paint (an art material) and natural matter together. I was interested in the textures that could be achieved and I kept exploring the possibilities. I enjoyed the process but lost my ideas a bit and I felt that even though this work included natural materials it wasn’t really showcasing them. Infact they were being hidden within plasticy man-made paint. A connection between art and nature was not evident enough. By this point, I also felt I had exhausted images of the Brecon Beacons and so more deeply connecting my work to nature by formulating landscapes influenced by the shapes of twigs.
4. Experimentation: Making Paints and Painting Tools from Natural Materials.
My work largely developed from here and instead of mixing materials into man-made paints, I created my own paint from natural materials and started experimenting with grinding my own pigments and binding them to paint with. Inspired by my the Field Modules, I made tools from natural materials to apply the paints with. My colour palette and mark variation was limited to what nature had to offer, I was creating art with nature and out of nature.
5. Making Landscape work from Natural Paints applied with Natural Tools and Final Assessment Space.
After going on a journey of investigating ways to integrate art and nature, I decided that the most successful method was to work with natural paints and apply them with tools made from natural materials and so I started working on Landscape pieces (formulated from the shape of twigs) in this way. My work showcases ways in which art and nature can be intertwined and challenges traditional landscape painting. The paints and tools I also see as artworks in themselves so as well as my paintings I have chosen to exhibit them in my assessment space.
I have produced a film collating the video documentation from a variety of different cameras and recording devices. I spend a substantial amount of time editing the clips together and adding cross dissolves between frames. Editing means you can cut out all of the irrelevant parts and produce a video that documents what you want to show. I definitely feel that my piece documents our final performance successfully and gives the viewer a significant insight into what took place.
Putting everything up in my Studio Space helps me visually view my thought patterns and to take in all the experimentation that I have done to progress. Looking at my wall at the moment, I have definitely delved into a variety of different techniques and all the pieces are becoming one distinct body of work as a whole. You can see the journey that I have undergone so far and my thought processes.
As you can see from the photo, I have accomodated a large board on which I am planning to bring my ideas together and incorporate mixed media into an abstracted Landscape piece. As I have experimented with, I plan to include nature into the paint as well as on the surface and just enjoy producing the piece of work.
Watercolour is quite a free medium in that when working wet on wet is difficult to control the bleading of the colours. My tutor suggested that I produced some quick experiments with this medium. It is very free flowing. The background work in John Pipers painting is very free and the colours are beautifully blended into one another. When working with watercolour, you achieve some accidental bleading in the colours which is a successful elements of the work that I have produced. Experimenting with this medium has made me more aware of the techniques in John Pipers works and it has made me notice the colour blending and variety of colour that is included in the work.
I also decided to progress under the influence of John Piper and experiment with the colour palette. Rather than working solely with the colours seen in his work like I have done so far, I played with a lighter colour palette, adding hues of different colours like don’t exist in Pipers work like purples and changing the black tones for red/pinky colours. I think these pieces show development from the original object because you can still see the influence but I would say the watery effect and varied mark making definitely demonstrates my own stamp being put on an initial inspiration. This was a worthwhile experiment and I could think about combining watercolour with acrylic to make a more bold composition but still have the blended background, I could also add in collaged elements as this is something that I have thought about working with.